Michael Sitton, appointed dean of The Crane School of Music in 2009, previously served as dean of fine arts at Eastern New Mexico University and as a faculty member and administrator at Hollins University in Virginia. A pianist and composer, he holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and literature from the University of Illinois, a master's degree from the University of Kentucky and bachelor's degree from Mars Hill College in his native North Carolina. He also studied in Paris, earning the Diplome de concert from the Schola Cantorum as a piano student of Mme. Gaby Casadesus. He has performed widely as a soloist and collaborative musician, and his compositions, primarily in the choral medium, have been published and performed throughout the country.